Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just wanted to throw this out there

According to the medical examiner's report, the guy in Florida who ate the homeless man's face had no drugs in his system except plain old marijuana.

Unless you believe that MJ can affect you like it did those people in Reefer Madness, this makes his actions pretty much unexplained.

Friday, June 29, 2012

A thing I found

I found this lying in the street yesterday, so I brought it home to take pictures of it.

I assume it's a key ring, but when I first saw it from a distance I thought it was a fishing lure.

Another horribly pink car

The colors in these two shots aren't the same because I was moving and the angle of the sunlight was changing.  Neither is entirely accurate to the actual hue of this monstrosity, and for that you should be grateful.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another forgotten TV show

I was just reminded of this one by the blog Great But Forgotten:  Wizards and Warriors.  A very short-lived swords & sorcery comedy from 1983.  Starred Jeff Conaway after Taxi and Julia Duffy before Newhart. Even my dad, who never had any truck with fantasy/sci-fi programs, liked this show because it was really funny.  I think it may have been even funnier for me than for him because of my D&D playing history.

News flash: I was wrong about something

In a bygone post I had mentioned that Liam Neeson had a minor role in the movie The Sword and the Sorcerer.  Well, I was updating my Netflix queue recently and noticed that that movie had moved from the "saved" category into the actual queue, which means it is now available from them on DVD.  I moved it to the top of the queue of course, and was checking out information about it at imdb.  Liam Neeson was not the person I was thinking of.  The character I was referring to was played by Simon MacCorkindale, who you may remember better (but probably not) as "Manimal."*

I'm still kinda peeved that you can't stream it, but you can stream frikkin' Krull.  Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing Matt Houston beat up on Bull Shannon.

*I have never been able to forget his name, although I had him confused on this point.  As I once told a friend of mine, "how can you forget a name like Simon MacCorkindale?"

Probably of very little interest to anyone

Just got a tip from one of my distant kinfolk about this entry at Wikipedia.  The man this place is named for and I are both descendants of one Friedrich Treybig, which was my grandmother's grandfather or possibly great-grandfather, I always forget.  But I have it all written down somewhere.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A couple of work pix

I had my regular cycle 15 today (Sunset Station).  I had seen this one before, I think its owner drives it to work a lot, but not always.  I don't usually get all gushy over automobiles, but wow this is a cool truck.

And the train.  Someday I'd like to get some shots of this with a real camera.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Scrabble idea

Someone has probably already done this, but it occurred to me recently.

Several months ago I splurged for $3.99 and downloaded a Scrabble game for my phone.  Since it's not a smart phone, it's not a "play against your friends" kind of game.  It does have a pass & play option so you can pass it to another person and play a two-player game in real life.  Or you can play solitaire or against the computer.  Someday I might have to post a rant about how this game must have been programmed by a semi-literate, politically correct feminist, but now is not the time for that.

My idea would have to be played on an old-fashioned board with real tiles and so forth because the electronic versions are all hard-wired to prevent anyone breaking the rules.  So here it is.

Play as normal, except:  words/names (yes, proper nouns!) are allowed, but only if they appear in The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings.  If you play a word/name that appears only in Hobbit/LotR (or at least originated there), you get bonus points.  Which means it could be a multiplier or just a straight specific amount of bonus points, I'd go either way.  Alternatively, words/names that are specific to any sci-fi/fantasy book could be allowed if the players all agreed.  Except if anyone spells a word or name from any of the Shannara books you lose points.

I must admit that I sometimes pass up a higher scoring word just so I can spell a word that I think is cool--exeunt, for example.  Although if you can put that on a word multiplier it adds up pretty well since X is an 8-point letter.  And recently I got away with using "taxon," which I wasn't evens sure was a word on its own.  Anyway I think it would be really cool to be able use "Bilbo" or "M*rg*th."  I suppose there would be arguments as to whether such words as "shire" would get you bonus points or not (I would say no).

By the way, so far my best single word was "squinted," for which I got 122 points.  Not that I actually can remember that kind of detail, but the game keeps track of that.  I've been able to use all 7 letters three times.

I still haven't been able to use "zymotic" or "squamous," although I did manage to play "gibbous" once.

"Rare photo of bee sting in action"

They think this may the first time this has ever been photographed, although it has been known for centuries.

Also note the newspaper:  The Sacramento Bee.

I must ask, however, about this sentence:
Garvey has bees in her blood: As dairy farmers, her father and grandfather kept bees to pollinate their orchards. She said bees have been in her family since around 1850.
What does dairy farming have to do with bees?  It would have made more sense to say "as fruit farmers, her father...etc."

Cool photo, anyway.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shopping carts in the wild

Wild shopping carts continue to thrive even in the barren wastelands of Naco-Perrin.  Here we see a pair of common steel carts engaging in their mating ritual, while a rarely-seen yellow cart keeps watch from a safe distance.

The comments I get...

Whenever I hear someone recycle that old adage "there's no such thing as a stupid question," my reply is always, "you don't spend much time on the internet, do you?"

Whitetail buck


I had to go feed the deer today, and took some photos while I was there. I think this is the best one. More at my Flickr photostream.  Also one photo of a squirrel who sneaked in to grab a couple of bites of that sweet, rich, high-protein buck feed.

I saw something today that was not able to get a photo of.  I took a walk around my dad's tank (pond for non-Texans) and spooked a young killdeer out of the grass.  He was apparently not quite able to fly.  I tried to get a shot of him, but he was too fast and wily for me.  That's the first time I've ever seen a young killdeer.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Photo stuff

I've been taking lots of photos that I haven't posted on this blog.  If anyone wants to follow my photographic adventures, check out With Camera Eye.

Also here's the link to my Flickr photostream.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

This fills me with an indefinable terror

From the Ear-Trumpet, of course.

Mission Espada photographs

One of the deals you get when you buy a car from DriveTime is 3 free oil changes per year for 3 years at Sears Automotive.  So today I went in to get my free oil change, and had a nice morning nap in their waiting room for about an hour.  I had dragged my son along with me for company.  Fortunately they had their waiting room TV on some channel that showed a program about a grey whale that was rescued and rehabilitated by Sea World in San Diego and that kept him interested while we waited.  We had gone to the Sears at South Park Mall for the work, so it was just a quick trip from there to Mission San Francisco de la Espada.  I just wanted to drop by there for a few minutes for photography practice.  Most San Antonians probably already know about Mission Espada, but if you're not from around here you can read about it at the above link.


The chapel main entrance.  Sometimes, especially if you go there on a weekday, you can also go inside and look around, but today they had baptisms going on and we stayed outside.  This is still used by an active parish, as are all of the missions except for the Alamo.

It was not a good time of day to be there--around midday, so it made for some rather harsh lighting, but I wasn't going to schedule a special late afternoon trip to take pictures--at least not today.


Here's another shot of the chapel front in portrait.


Zoomed in on the bells.  It appears that the arch over the top bell was rebuilt from different materials (bricks instead of stones) at some later date.  One of the things I have noticed since I started taking lots of photos is that I notice many details in the photo that I missed when I was on site.  I've been to this place several times and I hadn't noticed the brick thing before.  Today the glare was pretty bad and I don't think I could have noticed it with my naked eyes anyway.


This was the photo I most wanted to capture and I took numerous shots of it.

A portrait of the front door.  This may sound strange, but I have always been kind of fascinated by large, heavy wooden doors and their immediate surroundings.  Yeah, now that I've actually typed it out loud, it does sound strange, but there it is.  If you click through and view the full size version on my Flickr site, you should be able to see lots of wood-grainy goodness.

There isn't much else to see here; this is the smallest of all the missions.  There are still some walls left of the various living quarters, but if I remember correctly, when this was built it was never completely finished as it was intended to be, so some of the ruins are of walls that were never really finished anyway.  I hope to revisit the other missions over time and post some photos of them as well.

Well, when we finished, I took the back road out that comes out on...Villamain!  I wanted to show my son the "haunted train tracks."  Now, as you already know if you read this blog, I have a meter route that crosses those tracks and goes a little way up Villamain and ends right where that road from Espada comes out, but it's usually about 8:30 on a weekday morning when I go through there, and I have never seen anyone doing the "track thing" when I was there.  Today was different.  As soon as I turned onto Villamain I could see a group of people standing at the crossing, with one other person parked in a minivan on the tracks.  They were doing the track thing.  My conversation with my son went something like the following.

(approaching the tracks)
Me:  You ever heard that story about the haunted tracks, where the ghost kids push your car off the track if you stop on them?
Son:  Yeah.
Me:  Well, this is it.  Those people there are trying to see if their car will roll off the tracks.
Son:  Why?
Me:  The kid ghosts are supposed to push your car off the tracks so you don't get hit by a train.
(we turned the corner and passed them; I saw the back of their minivan slathered with baby powder)
Me:  Look!  Look!  They even have baby powder all over the back of their car!
Son:  Why'd they do that?
Me:  You're supposed to be able to see the handprints of the kids in the powder after they push your car off the tracks.
Son:  [facepalm]

My son's expression when he facepalmed himself made the whole trip even more worthwhile.  Priceless.

Friday, June 08, 2012


I've been playing around with my camera pretty much every day.  Today's what if was "what if I try to photograph my glow-in-the-dark t-shirt?"

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

This is not a song from my childhood

Corky and the Juice Pigs - Eskimo

I don't know why I thought of this song today, and I don't remember where I originally heard it, but I have the impression it was on some NPR program.  Or possibly a Canadian program, from back when the local NPR affiliate used to carry Canadian news programs at night because they had nothing better to do.  Either way, it still cracks me up.

Monday, June 04, 2012


I haven't done any "photoshops" in a long time--except I use Gimp because I can't afford Photoshop.  But anyway, when I saw this old painting I couldn't resist.  The guy looks so much like Tom Baker to me.  I also put this on Facebook, but I doubt that more than 1 or 2 people there will "get" it.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Lovecraft's Worlds

Just a brief post to point out Lovecraft's Worlds, which you will probably not be too interested in unless you are a fan of weird fantasy from Lovecraft's era.  I guess you could say it's a somewhat technical blog about all the many places in Lovecraft's stories as well as stories of other associated authors.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Some forgotten TV shows

Last night I somehow got into one of those internet things where I was trapped on for a while, looking up forgotten TV shows.  Sometimes I still wish there was some way I could see these again, but for the most part, they have never been released on DVD or even VHS.  Anyone remember any of these?

The Manhunter:  1974.  This one starred Ken Howard (later of The White Shadow).  There was also a pilot movie before the series.  He played a WWI vet who turned bounty hunter during the Great Depression.  He kept a frikkin' arsenal of 1930s-era firearms tucked away in all sorts of clever hiding places in his car.  I remember one scene in which he needed to transport a criminal but didn't have any way to secure him, so he stopped at the first hardware store he could find and bought a bear trap (bear traps being a standard in-stock item at hardware stores in Kansas during the Depression, apparently) and rigged it up with a stick and some rope in his back seat so the criminal's foot was in the partially propped-open trap.  The bad guy said, "If I move, that thing'll break me leg!"  He told the guy, "I guess you better not move, then."  When I was 10 years old, that was high comedy.  I still think it's pretty funny.  This lasted 23 episodes (plus the original movie) before it got the axe.

The White Shadow:  I don't think I need to say anything about this one.  Most people probably remember it.  I watched it regularly.

And while I'm on the subject of Ken Howard, did anyone ever see the TV movie he made about Father Damien?  I thought that was a pretty good movie, but the only time I ever saw it was when it originally aired in 1980.

Lucan:  1977, 12 episodes.  Somewhat of a ridiculous premise:  a young boy is lost in the wilderness of  Minnesota and rescued and raised by wolves.  At the age of 10, he is found and brought back to civilization by a friendly doctor.  The series begins when he is a young man, pursued by an obsessive cop who thinks Lucan committed a crime that he is really innocent of.  He doesn't have any super-powers, but under stress reverts to more animalistic behavior--basically turning into a creature of pure fight-or-flight instinct--he can run very fast, jump quite high, and when angry his eyes turn red, if I remember correctly.  And he is a fearsome fighter when cornered.  When I was 13 I loved this show.

The Master:  1984.  Okay, this show was pretty dumb, and the fighting sequences were terrible, but I really liked it.  I never could see Timothy Van Patten as anything other than Salami from White Shadow, but even back then I would watch and love anything with Lee Van Cleef in it.  He played a guy who was the only "occidental American" (in the show's words) to be trained as a ninja.  He came back to the U.S. to look for his missing daughter, and hooked up with Van Patten's character who he began to train in the ninja ways, or something, and they got into all kinds of misadventures together.  By the way, if you click on that link you can see a graphic of some old VHS release with Demi Moore's (as a teenager) picture on it.  She was never on any episode of that show.  The only reason for this that I can think of, and I'm just guessing, is maybe they used a photo of her for the Master's long-lost daughter.  I also don't understand why imdb lists Van Patten as appearing in only 6 episodes, because he was in them all.  It managed to struggle on for a mere 13 episodes before disappearing from the face of the earth.

It's Your Move:  Also from 1984, this sitcom starred a young Jason Bateman as Matthew Burton, a teenage evil genius who was constantly scheming for money and to gain power over the dimwits who surrounded him.  This show was hilarious.  It lasted only 18 episodes, and culminated in a two-parter about a rock band called The Dregs of Humanity, who always appeared on stage in heavy, macabre makeup, often obscured by special lighting and fog effects.  The catch was, the Dregs weren't real, but were essentially life-sized marionettes  manipulated by Burton and his sidekick/assistant Eli.  Unfortunately, I was never able to see the conclusion of this story and I don't know what ultimately happened with the Dregs.  I also seem to remember a minor character who may have appeared on only one episode, a young girl named Enid, who either wanted to be or thought she was a horse.  But I may be getting her confused with some other forgotten show.

Spencer:  1984 again.  Two years before Ferris Bueller was a wise-cracking teen who broke the fourth wall and directly addressed the viewer, Spencer Winger was doing it.  Spencer was played by Chad Lowe, who left the show after 7 episodes because of a contract dispute.  He was recast with some other guy and the show was renamed and went immediately and directly down the toilet.  Thirteen episodes total, but only the ones with Lowe are fit to watch.  Really funny.

Parker Lewis Can't Lose:  73 epiodes and it's not on Netflix?  WTF?!

By the way, why hasn't the full run of Benson been released on DVD?  And why isn't Forever Knight on Netflix?

The Famous Teddy Z:  1989, a sitcom starring Jon Cryer.  Married With Children ran for, what, like 65 years and this only lasted 20 episodes?

Stressed Eric:  This was a British animated sitcom from 1998 that ran for 13 episodes and which someone thought would be good for American television.  I knew that from the first minute of its broadcast in the states that it was doomed.  I watched every episode they aired here, but they showed only a few of them.  This is probably the only half-hour sitcom-like show that made me laugh so hard I thought I was going to pass out from lack of oxygen.  Good news, though:  I discovered that you can watch six of the episodes for free online at Hulu.  I haven't yet, but I will.  I only hope one of them is the one with the exploding horse.

Does anyone remember the 1990 TV series version of The Flash?  A curious thing that I remember about this show was that, although it was set in contemporary times, all the cars were old, like from the 50s.  I don't know why they did that, but it was cool.  Also, Amanda Pays.

Oh yeah, and I almost forgot TV101.  1988, 13 episodes, starred Jason Robards' son Sam.  I thought that was a cool show, too.

And of course, let us not forget the great Max Headroom.  Far too smart for its time.  Even in this watered-down format, most people just couldn't take such a dystopian cyberpunk view of the future, which deep down they knew was going to really happen, and happen soon (20 minutes into the future).  I so miss this show.  Also, Amanda Pays.